Pakistan is cynically exploiting situation in Jammu and Kashmir, says India at UN

In the aftermath of the UN general assembly meeting in which Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue, India has accused it of ‘cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir’.

Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First secretary in India’s UN mission said, “Such cynical attempts have failed in the past and do not find any resonance in this body.”

The response was in reference to Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi, who, during a debate on Right to Protect People against crimes on humanity had referred to Kashmir. While referring to the state as ‘Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir’, she had said that the people were under further indignity of living under an ‘alien and illegal occupation’.

“Against this backdrop, calls for accountability would invariably smack of double standards and selectivity, especially when egregious crimes including killings and mass-blinding are being committed in full view of the international community,” she had said.

ALSO READ: UN releases first ever report on rights abuses in Kashmir, calls for an international probe

Bayyapu stated that Pakistan had ‘yet again, misused the platform’ to make an ‘unwarranted reference’ to Jammu and Kashmir while they were having a ‘serious debate’ on an issue of importance.

“I would like to place on record and reiterate that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric from Pakistan will change this reality,” he said.

Earlier, after the UN had released a report on human rights abuses in Kashmir, India had rejected the report, terming it as ‘fallacious, tendentious and motivated’. The ruling party, BJP had rejected  the report, saying that it was baseless, factually incorrect and prejudiced.

“In a country where even trees and other natural resources are revered, violation of human rights is unthinkable. The said UN seems to have concluded in a biased way without doing the homework. What they have said is totally ungrounded and BJP rejects it,” said Rajya Sabha MP and BJP national media chief Anil Baluni.

He said the whole world knows that Indian forces are locked in a fierce battle against Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. “At the same time safety and security of the innocent people of the state is also taken care of,” he added.

BJP is a Hindu nationalist party leaders of which have openly supported anti muslim rhetoric and policies in India. Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister who also belongs to the party, has been alleged of a prime role in 2002 Gujarat pogrom of Muslims. Members of the RSS, the ideological wing of the BJP have played a role in the murder of Gandhi.

The report had called on Indian security forces “to exercise maximum restraint, and strictly abide by international standards governing the use of force when dealing with future protests”.

The report states that there is an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives.

The report which focuses on human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir – details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, and highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by forces.

“The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

India has lodged a strong protest with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) over the report.

In a communication sent to the OHCHR on June 12, New Delhi had said the world body has departed from internationally accepted terminology in the report.

India pointed out that the OHCHR in its 49-page report described the United Nations-proscribed terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as ‘armed group’ 38 times and PoK as ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ 26 times.

Besides, it said that the OHCHR nowhere mentioned ‘cross-border terrorism’ rather used ‘cross-border shelling’ twice.

With the title ‘Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, India says the UN has indicated its support for the Pakistani side.

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